Official Nebraska Government Website

Juvenile Justice

(Juvenile Services Grant Funds (State Funding))
(Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Federal Funding))
(Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Program (JAIBG))
(Nebraska’s Three Year Plan and Accomplishments)
(Nebraska Coalition for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ))
(Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC))
(Compliance Monitoring)
(Special Juvenile Justice Initiatives and Reports)
(Community Comprehensive Juvenile Services Plans)

Juvenile Services Grant Funds (State Funding)

Juvenile Services Grant Funds are state funds appropriated by the Nebraska Legislature and administered by the Nebraska Crime Commission.  Availability of funds is announced on an annual basis and applications are accepted through a competitive grant process. 

The purpose of these funds, as outlined in state statute, is to assist communities in the implementation and operation of programs or services identified in their comprehensive juvenile services plan, including but not limited to:  programs for assessment and evaluation, the prevention of delinquent behavior, diversion, detention, shelter care, intensive juvenile probation services, restitution, family support services, and community centers for the care and treatment of juveniles in need of services.  The Nebraska Coalition for Juvenile Justice in conjunction with the Crime Commission develops a Three Year Plan for all juvenile justice grant funds.  Juvenile Services dollars are generally prioritized based on the needs identified in this Three Year Plan.

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Federal Funding)

In 1974 Congress passes the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.  The Act requires the deinstitutionalization of status offenders and non-offenders, sight and sound separation of juvenile and adult offenders in jail and correctional settings, removal of juveniles from adult jails and lockups, and an assessment of disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile justice system.  These are known as the four core requirements of the Act.  The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is the federal office designated to oversee the grant funds related to the Act.

States must be in compliance with all four requirements in order to receive the full Title II grant allocation.  Nebraska has gained full compliance and therefore receives the full amount available.  Title II is a formula grant, thus the allocation is based on a formula using the states population, juvenile population, and various other factors.  States must use these funds to gain compliance with the core requirements.  Once compliance is attained, states can focus on other issues relating to juvenile justice such as substance abuse, mental health, gangs, rural issues, education, and other related topics as identified in the state Three Year Plan. 

The Act requires each state to have a State Advisory Group to facilitate a Three Year Plan for juvenile justice grant funds and make recommendations on subsequent funding.  The Nebraska Coalition for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) is Nebraska’s State Advisory Group and makes recommendations on funding to the Nebraska Crime Commission who gives final approval for all funding. 

Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Program (JAIBG)

Title II Federal Funds

The Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant (JAIBG) Program began in 1998 with an appropriation from Congress.  The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention was charged with developing guidelines for the program.   The purpose of the program is to promote greater accountability in the juvenile justice system.  The guidelines established twelve Program Purpose Areas by which states are supposed to be able to develop greater accountability.   These purpose areas include construction of juvenile facilities, development of accountability based programs and sanctions, hiring of juvenile justice personnel, technology, and specialized courts. 

The program has now been established in legislation with the Re-authorization of the JJDP Act in 2002.  The new program guidelines and name (Juvenile Accountability Block Grant) will took effect October 1, 2003.  The new guidelines expand the program purpose areas to 16 to include mental health and expanded accountability options.

The JAIBG program is different than the other juvenile programs listed above.  Based on a formula developed by OJJDP, cities and counties are given a pre-determined sum of money.  Based on the formula eligible cities and counties may receive a sum of $10,000 or more.  This formula is based on juvenile population, law enforcement expenditures and a variety of other factors which is figured at the federal level and passed down to the states.  In order to receive the pre-determined sum of money, the community must develop a three year plan, establish a Juvenile Crime Enforcement Coalition, and provide a 10% cash match.   Cities and counties are allowed to work together and pool their funds to better utilize the money.  The Crime Commission is the pass through agency and awards the pre-determined awards on an annual basis to those communities who wish to receive their pre-determined award and who meet the established criteria.  There are many communities who receive less than $10,000.  OJJDP recognized that generally this is not enough money to meet the purpose of the program, therefore, the state retains those funds and is responsible for developing a plan to meet the needs of the state in one or more of the purpose areas.

Title V Delinquency Prevention Funds

Title V funds focus strictly on delinquency prevention programming, particularly model and science based programs.   These funds are also formula grant funds and the Crime Commission receives a pre-determined amount from OJJDP.   Only units of local government are eligible to apply.  They have to develop a comprehensive Three Year Prevention Plan and establish and Prevention Policy Board.  Using model programs found on OJJDP site at  is strongly encouraged.

Deliquency Prevention Block Grant

Congress created these funds with the Re-authorization of the JJDP Act in 2002, however, the program has yet to be appropriated funds for distribution to states.  OJJDP continues to work on guidelines for the program in the event funds are appropriated, the program can begin in a timely manner.

Nebraska’s Three Year Plan and Accomplishments

2012-2014 Three Year Plan

In order to receive federal Title II formula and Juvenile Accountability Block grant funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the state is required to develop a comprehensive three year plan.   

The Crime Commission is required to focus on the four core requirements of the act in their plan.  Three relate to compliance with the act:  Jail Removal, Sight and Sound Separation and Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders.  To learn more about compliance with these three requirements see the Compliance Monitoring portion of the website.  The fourth requirement is to assess and address Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Juvenile Justice System.  To learn more about the DMC initiatives please see the DMC portion of the website.  Nebraska is in compliance with all four core requirements.   Should the state at some point not be in compliance, a portion of grant funding is lost until compliance can be regained.

Once a state is in compliance, other juvenile justice problems and issues in the state can be investigated and addressed.  The following is a summary of the five priority problem statements that are the focus of the plan and activities and accomplishments under each.  A common goal that flows through each priority is to continually work to develop strong collaboration and coordination between local, state, private and federal entities.

1.  Youth in Nebraska are subject to multiple uncoordinated screening tools, risk/needs assessments and evaluations.

a. An initiative is underway between Probation and HHS/OJS to implement a standardized risk/needs assessment tool- the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Instrument (YLS/CMI).  A pilot project and validation of the tool to Nebraska was completed and training and implementation has begun.

b. Funds have been used to support the three juvenile assessment centers in Douglas, Sarpy and Lancaster County.  Buffalo County has also started developing a “mobile” assessment center concept.

c. The Crime Commission is involved in the standardized model for substance abuse initiative.
2.  The State of Nebraska has no statewide juvenile justice information system. 

a. Funds have been used to develop a strategic plan for developing a statewide information system. 

b. Due to LB43, a statewide juvenile diversion data collection system has been developed.
3.  Evaluation of grant and other programs is limited.

a. Evaluation training has been added to Crime Commission grant management and grant writing training.

b. A pilot evaluation project of Crime Commission grant funded mentoring and after school programs is underway.

c. The Juvenile Justice Institute will also prepare an initial report and evaluation of the juvenile diversion programs statewide.

d. The establishment of JJI by the legislature as been instrumental in moving evaluation forward in the state.
4.  Alternative to Detention programs are not consistently available in communities statewide.

a. Grant funds continue to be targeted in communities that have developed comprehensive community plans and identified specific alternatives as solutions in their communities.
5.  Many communities, particularly rural, are struggling to develop a continuum of community based programs ranging from prevention to aftercare.

a. Expanding diversion programs statewide has been the main focus in this arena.  Funding has been targeted to help diversion programs get started in various rural counties.

b. Through the partnership with JJI, the LB 43 requirement to report data will be met.  A case management system has been developed that will not only allow programs to submit data, but to have control over their data and manage their cases effectively.  The collection of this data will help assess many other issues statewide.

c. Funds are also targeted towards counties who have developed comprehensive juvenile services plans and identified key solutions to documented problems.

Nebraska Coalition for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ)

The Nebraska Coalition for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) was established in 1982, as required by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.  The NCJJ acts as an advisory group to the Nebraska Crime Commission, and is responsible for making recommendations for federal JJDP Act and JAIBG funding.  Additionally, the group members assist in developing the comprehensive three year plan, monitor existing juvenile justice programs and issues, and advocate to improve the system and educate others on juvenile justice issues.  Members are appointed by the Governor and represent a broad cross section of citizens and professionals.

The goal of the Coalition is to improve all aspects of the juvenile justice system in the State of Nebraska by assisting communities and the state with planning and implementation of systemic improvements, advocacy, education and recommending award of JJDP Act funds for such purposes. The purpose of the Coalition is to improve the lives and future of children, youth and families involved in the juvenile justice system.

Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC)

What is DMC?

Disproportionate Minority Contact, or DMC, originally referred to the overrepresentation of children of minority races and cultures in confined settings, but the definition now includes the overrepresentation of minority youth at each point in the juvenile justice system.

For the most part, it is not that our systems are intentionally biased, but our systems may well be inadvertently biased.  It is vital that we begin examining how we view families and their circumstances within their unique culture.

How do we know if there is overrepresentation?

Most over representation occurs when the percent of individuals served in the system is larger than the percent in your community.  For example, if African American youth make up 5% of your community, but 30% of youth in detention are African American, then African American youth are over-represented at six times the population rate.

Why does overrepresentation occur?

Confinement vs. contact.  We have begun to look at “overrepresentation” by the number of contacts youth have with our juvenile systems.  It is clear that over-representation starts much earlier than the point when a youth is confined.  Do more minority youth commit offenses that warrant being detained?  Is it that minority youth entering the system have a longer history of juvenile offenses and are more likely to be detained?  Some might argue this, but research indicates that this isn’t the case.

Socio-economics can place an offender at a disadvantage because the family’s situation affects a variety of factors:  whether a family has legal representation, whether a parent is able to attend appointments and court hearings during daytime hours, whether the family has a phone, whether they have transportation to services and court dates.  Language barriers may also lead to certain groups being over-represented.  If a family does not understand the juvenile justice process, the individual explaining the process or an important legal document- like a summons- the youth frequently ends up further entangled in the juvenile justice system than necessary.

Why should we address this?

In 1992, Congress reauthorized the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and substantially strengthened efforts to address over-representation of minorities in our juvenile systems.  Although Congress had originally addressed DMC in the 1988 Act, the efforts in 1992 elevated the status to a “core requirement”.  Other “core requirements” include the deinstitutionalization of status offenders, removing juveniles from adult jails and lockups, and the sight and sound separation requirement.

States (and consequently counties and cities) must remain in compliance with the DMC requirement or risk losing a portion of the State’s Formula Grant Funds.  The Nebraska Coalition for Juvenile Justice, an advisory committee to the Nebraska Crime Commission, has an active sub-committee and part time coordinator dedicated to moving the states DMC initiatives forward.   The Mission Statement of the committee is:

To promote awareness of problems that are impacting minority youth/adolescents involved with or at risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system in Nebraska, and to aggressively support resolutions designed to address the problems affecting these populations.

Contact Information

Please contact the Crime Commission for the DMC Committee and Nebraska's coordinator information.

Compliance Monitoring

The Nebraska Crime Commission is responsible for monitoring Nebraska’s compliance with the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act.  The JJDP Act is a federal law governing the incarceration of juveniles in detention and correctional facilities, including juveniles placed in a secure area or locked room of a facility or a program pursuant to public authority.

Quick Reference Guide for Jails/Lock-ups and Detention Centers

This is a Quick Reference Guide for detaining juveniles in (Urban) Adult
Jails/Lock-ups, (Rural) Adult Jails/Lock-ups, Juvenile Detention Centers,
and Court Holding Facilities.  The Guide is broken up page-by-page in
regards to whether the juvenile is a Non-Offender, a Status Offender, or a
Juvenile Delinquent.  There is also a list of definitions if you are unsure
as to what type of juvenile you are dealing with or what your facility is
classified as.  Please contact the Juvenile Compliance Montor at the Crime Commission if there
are any questions about the detention of juveniles in your facility.

Special Juvenile Justice Initiatives and Reports


Drug Court Evaluations

Juvenile Justice Programs

Community Comprehensive Juvenile Services Plans

Community Planning Manual ( PDF )

Community Planning Template ( Word )

Back to Grants

Nebraska Crime Commission
Darrell Fisher, Executive Director
301 Centennial Mall South
PO Box 94946
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4946
Phone (402) 471-2194 Fax (402) 471-2837 | Nebraska's Security, Privacy and Accessibility Policy